International design an innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, Italo Rota Building Office, F&M Ingegneria and Matteo Gatto & Associati have won the international competition to design the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020. Inspired by an ancient marine tradition, three boats will arrive in Dubai by sea and then be raised and turned upside down to become the very roof of the building.
The Pavilion explores the ways in which “beauty connects people” – the theme of Italy’s participation in next year’s World’s Fair – paying tribute to the long history of explorers who, throughout the centuries, sailed the seas and wove together a shared Mediterranean cultural heritage. The use of upside-down hulls for the roof of the Pavilion connects to an ancient tradition of seafaring populations and fishermen all around the world, while also promoting sustainability with a circular approach.  
The Italian Pavilion within the site of Expo 2020 Dubai will take up a surface of around 3,500 square meters and will be over 25 meters tall. Each hull will be painted in a different way, so that seen from above, they will appear like three petals in the colors of the Italian flag. 
The exhibition path will be marked by a gradual ascent until a point where it becomes possible, with some help from the imagination, to observe Italy from the sky,” explains architect Italo Rota, founding partner of Italo Rota Building Office: “There will be a ‘Prologue’ with large spaces inspired by the forms of important Italian piazze, and a Grand Finale that will be almost like a cathedral to nature, to light, to the music of the universe, like the sky over the Mediterranean and the Desert.” 

Photo credits: Carlo Ratti Associati
Engineering: FM INGEGNERIA
Beginning of Construction: 2019
Completion Date: 2020
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